Of all the sweets I’ve loved over the years, I have a few that are totally non-negotiable: dark chocolate and gingerbread. The former because I’m a chocoholic of epic proportions and gingerbread because I’ve been a long-time fan of its spicy and sugary taste. So, you can just imagine how stoked I was to discover that BONO Artisanal Gelato has taken my favorite flavors and transformed them into works of sensuous, delectable, edible art.
Speculoos is one of them. The name is actually that of a ginger-and-caramel biscuit that is a specialty of Flemish Belgium and the Netherlands, but is is commonly misused as the name of a bread-spread the color and texture of peanut butter made from ground-up speculoos whipped with butter. (The spread’s actual name is speculoospasta - speculoos paste – hence the nickname “cookie butter”.) Transformed into gelato, it is an almost perfect transition from a warm, creamy, somewhat gritty spread into a smooth, spicy-sweet cream-ice with just the faintest yet nevertheless discernible tickle of cinnamon and ginger. BONO also gets plus points for tossing in generous chunks of actual speculoos in the mix. :D
Chocolate – specifically dark chocolate – is the perfect thing to go with speculoos or any other spicy cookie. (Ever have those dark-chocolate-coated ginger biscuits from Marks and Spencer? Gods, those are super!) That said, it would be great to pair a scoop of speculoos gelato with a scoop of simple cioccolato nero (dark chocolate), but you can actually pair it with something better: peperoncino.
Peperoncini are those tiny flakes of dried chili you get whenever you order a pizza or a plate of pasta at one of the more upscale Italian restaurants in this part of the world. At BONO, these incendiary little nippers are swirled though rich, dark chocolate cream-ice to give it a bit of a fiery kick that doesn’t diminish despite the cold. Against the bittersweet richness of the chocolate, the chili is eye-popping, interesting, and quite delicious. Paired with the spices in the speculoos, you get a sensational, doubly-delicious dessert that is just perfect for kick-starting your weekend. ;)